With the European release of Stargate I got the possibility to talk to Thomas Wolf, the man behind Stormwind. The band is around for awhile, but due to the fact that they didn't fit the current trend got almost ignored by the media. It seems that now their time is coming....
Last summer your 4th album been released. Now Stargate is been in the stores. So I'll travel little bit back in time....
Stargate was released in 1998 at a time were melodic metal started to sell well again in Europe. Why was it just released in Japan at that time?
Well, I guess it's was quite new for the record companies at that time with a female voice in the metal scene. Stargate was a solo album with 14 guest musicians and with different classical metal opus. Anyway, we have a kind of re-release on the album today in Europe with 2 bonus tracks.
Stargate is a conceptual album. Please tell a little bit about the story and the intention to do this conceptual album!
I had always been interested in mythology and Science Fiction and liked both the book Stargate and the movie. I wanted to have different songs on the album with classical opus. The forthcoming album Refelctions will also have many great epic songs (Release October 2001)!
What happened after the releases (Japan only) of Straight From Your Heart that Stargate was recorded with different musicians?
After the tour in France (Stormwind was the first Swedish metal act at the famous movie Festival Palace in Cannes!) I made the decision to put up a stable line-up with the best musicians I could get! I invited Thomas Vikström (Brazen Abbott, etc) and had audition. So since then (1998) Stormwind is a band.
On the European release you have two bonus tracks. Why do you chose this ones?
The first one is a guitar piece and the other one is the track Too young to die too drunk to live which I did for the Y. Malmsteen tribute album in 1999!
Stargate got some Awards like e.g. at the International Guitar Festival in France in 1998. I guess it was a surprise for you.... How do you feel having an album honored that way? Especially as a Japan only release!
I was very happy about the whole tour in France, because the people at the movie festival palace SEMEC sponsored Stormwind and it was a honor to play there!
Why took it 3 years to release this album in Europe?
Well, as I mentioned before I don't think record companies were ready for this concept with a female voice. But after the success of Resurrection last year took Massacre the decision to release it again!
Your 3rd album Heaven Can Wait was kind of your European debut. How were the reactions?
Great! The trouble was that the label Digital Dimension didn't do a thing for the album! We had good reactions in Japan and Asia and pretty good sales so I made a deal with Massacre when Resurrection was ready in April 2000.
After a label change last year Resurrection been released in Europe through Massacre Records. Massacre Records promoted your album very well and so Resurrection sold well. Could you feel the difference? Do you recognized a bigger interest from media?
Yes, I did about 75 interviews for Resurrection and True Promotion rules!!! Massacre is a great label!
Was the European release of Stargate the reaction of the good sells of Resurrection?
It seems that you now found a stable line-up. Are there any plans to play festivals this summer? Or a tour in fall?
We are working on the mighty Reflections which is going to be released in October 2001! (If you like it, send me your regards: www.stormwind.nu )! So we are not playing any festivals during the Summer, not until the release! I hope that we can play some gigs in Europe in the beginning of next year!
A new release is announced for later this year. When can we expect the new album?
Reflections is coming in October and it's going to have a metal sound as fat as the Holy Land on Resurrection with very progressive solos and even more choirs on the choruses! So far this is the best I ever had written.
Can you already tell something about it? Will you record in the same studio?
Well, Reflections will contain many epic stories like... The Trojan War... The man behind the Iron Mask... Ramses! And the sound will be even better than Resurrection! I working again in the EMI Studios in Stockholm with the same engineer. And I will do music for a movie for Zomba. I also have unique sound samples which will be added between the songs!! So watch out in October!
Why do you decided to produce the albums yourself? How do you got the knowledge?
I had already the sound arrangements in my head before the mixing process. I guess I had learned through my earlier mistakes and the metal people today have very high demands on the production which I feel is fair!
I recognize on the album covers that you used visual elements of the Egyptian history / mythology. What fascinates you in that part of history?
The Egyptian culture and mysteries are one of the mankind's revelation. I think we had still much to learn about this high civilization.
Are you interested in history in general?
Yes, I had studied some historical changes between different cultures.
Can we expect, somewhere in future, another conceptual album? Perhaps about some historical topic....
You got me!!! It's exactly what the album in 2003 will be about. It is going to be a concept album!
You been a successful Karate-fighter and known as a very talented guitarist in your early days. When do you decide to concentrate on music? And why?
I competed in Karate in the National team until 1993. I took the Swedish kyokushin title and decided to focus again on the music... (I'm still trying to get my fingers warm...) The guitar was hanging on the wall for ten years! I got a portable studio as a present from my father and started to work on some ideas. Stormwind was born in 1995!
Different topic.... Do you think that the internet is handy for young bands? Do you get a lot of mail by fans?
I think it's great for bands to have the internet as a base for all information and promotion. I get some mails from fans also and that's important.
What is your opinion about mp3-files and the exchange through sites like Napster?
I am against Napster as the band, producer. Companies don't get paid for the hard work and money they had spent to make the masters!
Will you make some sound clips available at the internet as a kind of appetizer for the coming album?
Yes! You will find sound clips on the new album Reflections on our site at the end of June! www.stormwind.nu
So check out the soundfiles and let Thomas know what you think about it!